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Personal Pyramid
Students construct a 3-dimensional paper pyramid, cover the inside walls with pictures representing their lives, and write an autobiography.

Russell Moore, DeKeyser Elementary School, Sterling Heights


This activity includes:
Part 1: Directions for constructing a pyramid and

Part 2: Directions for assembling the contents and writing an autobiography (see below). Students researched the purpose of tombs in ancient Egypt (see Preparation and Resources screen). We´ve previously studied hieroglyphs, also. This project took my first grade students about 2 weeks to complete.

Note: Parent volunteers were most helpful with this project.

Part 1
Materials per pyramid

Have on hand:
  • ruler
  • scissors
  • margarine tubs or cups
  • spoons
  • saucers or small plates
  • small 1" sponge scraps
  • clip clothes pins
  • scrap paper
  • markers
  • colored pencils
  • covered work surface
  • paint shirts

Directions for assembling the Pyramid

Step 1
Cut 4 triangles, each with a base of 8.5", and sides of 9.5". Cut 1 square with sides of 8.5"
(a template can be used or pieces can be pre-cut for younger students)

Step 2
Mix poster paint in container (white tinted with brown until desired "pyramid" shade is achieved)
Spoon a small amount of paint onto a saucer to form a thin layer
Dip sponge (held by clothes pin) into paint and first test on paper scrap to get desired pattern or effect
Sponge-paint each triangle in a pattern resembling blocks of stone, if desired

Step 3
Once dry, organize the triangles and square as illustrated, with painted sides down [click to see pyramid diagram] Students can label in pencil back sides of their 4 triangles 1 2 3 and A B C D and square A B C D (as in diagram).
Tape the 4 triangles together at 3 of at their 9.5" sides (1 to 1, 2 to 2 and 3 to 3)

Step 4
Cover the insides with pictures students have brought in from home.

Step 5
Stand the triangles up with the painted sides on the outside of the pyramid and tape those three sections to the square base (A to A, B to B, C to C). Leave the D side of the triangles un-taped so the pyramid can be opened to view the contents.

Part 2
Directions for Assembling the Contents and Writing an Autobiography
Students can be encouraged to bring in pictures or objects from several categories; they can be listed on the board.

Homework Assignment

[click for a version to print out]

Written Autobiography
Brainstorm ideas using a graphic organizer similar to the one below. This is a plan for writing about the information you wish to share in your autobiography:

Personal Pyramid Organizer

Write the rough draft of your autobiography, to include information taken from the graphic organizer. Write in complete sentences. Include as many details as possible.
With assistance from your teacher, parents or classmates, revise your autobiography, by adding or deleting information. Read and re-read your writing until it sounds "just right" to you and the person with whom you have shared your story.

Edit the autobiography, checking for proper spelling and use of grammar and punctuation.

Publish you final piece in your own handwriting or on the computer using an interesting font. You may wish to create a pyramid-shaped book constructed of cardboard or heavy paper. The finished autobiography can be displayed with your pyramid.


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